Vexed issue - GulfToday

Vexed issue

social media1

The photo has been used for illustrative purpose.

There is a lot of talk and debate over control of online speech, more specifically fake new and hate speech. On one hand you have defenders of free speech who feel everything should be online, while on the other are people who seek to defend their right not to be cheated or manipulated by false propaganda pushed by people with ulterior motives.

Of course there is no one answer, there is no right and wrong. Every argument has a counterargument. It’s because the internet is free for all. The platforms are varied and people can post content which might not be truthful or which might be doctored

It is a given that users are flooded with content and if users were so wise as to know what to see and what to close their eyes upon, there exists no question about fake news. Because theoretically users can decide not to allow fake news to enter their feeds.  But is it that simple? The line between fake and real is blurred.

So I would go with the idea that it is the responsibility of the hosting platforms to develop filters for content that has marked features. Hate speech, factually altered and derogatory content, racist propaganda should be weaned out even before it reaches the end user. Today the multimedia industry has highly advanced tools and programmes which can do this effortlessly.

The AI knows to filter these out. The onus should rest on the host. But the final user should also stay accountable and flag content which is inappropriate. It is not a one-size- fits-all situation, so obviously the control line will keep moving. What is needed is an unbiased system in place. May be I am asking for a lot.

Syed Hussein — By email

Related articles